Dosha in Ayurveda
Vata, pitta and Kapha are known as doshas in Ayurveda; they are the underlying principles that govern the nature, transformation and structure of the physical universe. Each dosha is has two of the five elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth). It is the specific combination of these elements that determines each doshas characteristic. Every object has elements of vata, pitta and kapha and it is the relative proportion of each dosha.
Vata has elements of air and space and its qualities are light, subtle, moving, cold, dry, hard and rough. Vata governs movement in the mind and body.
Pitta has elements of fire and water and its qualities are hot, acidic, sour and sharp. Pitta manage mind and body, whether it’s the digestion, assimilation and metabolism of food and water into energy or the digestion.
Kapha has elements of earth and water and its qualities are heavy, cold, slow, binding, sticky and smooth. Kapha is responsible for the density and structure of our body.
A person with a predominance of Vata dosha walks more quickly, has a lighter build and has colder and dryer skin than someone with a predominance of Pitta or Kapha dosha in their constitution. Vata-type people also tend to have very quick, agile minds and can be very creative. However, if their constitution goes out of balance through excessive movement or irregularity they can suffer from feelings of restlessness, boredom, fear, stress and anxiety. This may manifest in the body as poor circulation, cold hands and feet, constipation and dry skin.
A person with more Pitta have lots of energy, high ambitions, sharp intellects and good leadership qualities. However, if they imbalance and their innate ‘fire’ becomes too high they can quickly become angry, stressed and frustrated. They generally have a strong digestive fire and immune system. But when they slip out of balance they can develop rashes, ulcers, acid stomachs and heart problems.
Kapha dosha person are caring, loving, forgiving individuals with a placid, easy-going nature. They have strong, solid bodies but can suffer from weight gain, lethargy and heaviness when they are out of balance.
With an understanding of the qualities, we are able to keep the doshas in balance in our own bodies and thereby remain healthy, happy and free from dis-ease. Any excessive increase in any of the qualities present in our doshic will lead to imbalance. To decrease a quality we need to increase its opposite quality.
- Vata body-type become excessively cold or exposed to noisy, busy environments with excess movement it will become imbalanced and un-grounded. If we immediately introduce the opposite qualities of warmth or calmness and quietness. we will soon bring ourselves back into a grounded, more balanced state.
- For a Pitta person, who has a predominance of heat, the opposing quality of coldness will bring them back into balance.
- A Kapha person is predominance of heaviness. lightness is the balanced formula for them.